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Addiction Screen

Have you tried to cut down on your use?

Have you been annoyed when people talked to you about your use?

Have you felt bad or guilty about your use?

Have you ever used in the morning to settle yourself down?

One yes answer suggests a problem. Two yes answers is diagnostic.

Information Links

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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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Faith-Based Addiction Curriculum

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Faces and Voices of Recovery


Love First: A New Approach to Intervention for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Alcoholics Anonymous

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Take the first step in recovery

Thriving Recovery DVD's about how joy restores your brain and heals trauma

Acupuncture for alcohol and other addictions

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Did you know?

Most alcoholics have their first drink at age 11 or 12.

If you have your first drink before the age of 15 your odds of becoming addicted increase by 40%.

Alcohol Abuse Changes the Brain

Alcohol Abuse

No one knows when alcohol was first produced. If any watery mixture of vegetable sugars or starches is allowed to stand long enough in a warm temperature, alcohol will make itself. Nature alone cannot produce anything stronger than 14% alcohol, but by distillation, the percentage can be increased to 93% (Kinney & Leaton, 1987).

Alcohol is the most used and abused psychoactive chemical in the United States. Approximately half of Americans have had a drink during the past 30 days, and 20% had five or more drinks on one occasion during the past 30 days. About 90% of children use before they leave high school, and 20% have consumed more than five drinks on one occasion during the past 30 days (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). It is estimated that alcoholism costs Americans nearly $100 billion and results in 100,000 deaths per year (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1993, 1997).

The early detection of alcohol abuse and dependency is complicated by denial that is found in the individual, in the family, and in society. Long-term alcohol dependence has profound effects on personality, mood, cognitive functioning, and a variety of physiological problems involving virtually all organ systems. The interaction of alcohol and other drugs may lead to fatal overdoses (Frances & Franklin, 1988).

Alcoholism is the result of a complex interaction of biological vulnerability and environmental factors. Environmental factors such as childhood experience, parental attitudes, social policies, and culture strongly affect the vulnerability to alcoholism. Genetic variables significantly influence the disease. There probably is no personality style that is predictive of alcoholism (Goodwin, 1985; Vaillant, 1984).

Alcohol-Induced Organic Mental Disorders

Alcohol Intoxication

Alcohol intoxication is the most frequent organic-induced mental disorder. It is time limited, and it may occur with varying amounts of ingested alcohol. The intoxicated individual exhibits maladaptive behavioral changes due to recent ingestion. These changes may include aggressiveness, impaired judgment, impaired attention, irritability, euphoria, depression, emotional liability, and other manifestations of impaired social functioning. Although alcohol is basically a CNS depressant, its initial effects disinhibit the individual. Early in intoxication, the person may feel stimulated with an exaggerated sense of well-being. With further use, the person may slow down and become depressed, withdrawn, and dull. The person may even lose consciousness (Spitzer, 1987; Woodward, 1994).

Alcohol Amnestic Disorder (blackout)

Alcohol amnestic disorder, or a blackout, is a period of amnesia during periods of intoxication. The person may seem fully conscious and normal when observed by others, but the person is unable to remember what happened or what he or she did while intoxicated. The disorder may last for a few seconds or for days. The severity and duration of alcoholism correlate with the frequency of occurrence of these blackouts (Goodwin, 1971; Goodwin, Crane, & Guze, 1969).

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a neurological emergency that should be treated by the immediate parenteral administration of thiamine. The symptoms begin with a sudden change in organic functioning. The patient becomes ataxic with a wide-based unsteady gait. The person may be unable to walk without support. The patient is mentally confused and unable to transfer memory from short- to long-term memory. The patient may be disoriented, listless, inattentive, and indifferent to the environment. Questions directed at the patient may go unanswered, or he or she may fall asleep while being examined. The etiology of this syndrome involves a thiamine deficiency due to dietary, genetic, or medical factors. All patients with compromised mental functioning or a deficit in memory need to be examined by the medical staff as soon as possible to prevent further brain damage (Braunwald et al., 1987).

Alcoholic Idiosyncratic Intoxication

Alcoholic idiosyncratic intoxication is a marked behavior change, usually to aggressiveness, due to recent ingestion of small amounts of alcohol. There usually is amnesia for the period of intoxication. The behavior is unusual for the person when he or she is not drinking. With one drink, the person may become belligerent or assaultive or may manifest other unusual behavior (Spitzer, 1987).

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms relate to a relative drop in alcohol blood levels. Withdrawal can occur when the individual is still drinking. The classic withdrawal symptom is a coarse fast frequency tremor observed when the patient’s hand or tongue is extended. The tremor is made worse by motor activity or stress. The patient may experience nausea and vomiting, malaise, weakness, elevated pulse and blood pressure, anxiety, craving, depressed mood, irritability, transient hallucinations, headache, and insomnia. These symptoms follow several hours after cessation or reduction in alcohol intake and peak within 72 hours. They almost always disappear within 5 to 7 days of abstinence. The patient in alcohol withdrawal is treated with a cross-tolerant drug similar in pharmacological effects to alcohol, usually one of the benzodiazepines. This stabilizes the patient in a mild withdrawal syndrome (Mayo-Smith, 1998; Schuckit, 1984).

Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures

Withdrawal seizures may occur 7 to 38 hours after the last alcohol use in chronic drinkers. The tendency to seizure peaks within 24 hours (Adams & Victor, 1981; Mayo-Smith, 1998).

Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium (delirium tremens)

One third of patients with seizures go on to develop alcohol withdrawal delirium or delerium tremens. This is characterized by confusion, disorientation, fluctuating or clouded sensorium, and perceptual disturbances (Adams & Victor, 1981; Mayo-Smith, 1998). Typical symptoms include delusions, vivid hallucinations, agitation, insomnia, mild fever, and marked autonomic arousal. The patient frequently reports visual hallucinations of insects, small animals, and other perceptual disturbances. The patient may be terrified. The delirium typically subsides after a few days, but it can continue for weeks (Gessner, 1979).

Alcohol Abuse: Craving

Twenty Questions About Alcohol Abuse

Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide, 5th EditionChemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide, Fifth Edition: is a best-selling comprehensive guide for counselors and front-line professionals who work with the chemically dependent and addicted in a variety of treatment settings. The text shows the counselor how to use the best evidence-based treatments available, including motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, skills training, medication and 12 step facilitation. Guiding the counselor step-by-step through treatment, this volume presents state-of-the-art tools, and forms and tests necessary to deliver outstanding treatment and to meet the highest standards demanded by accrediting bodies.

The Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Client Workbook, Third Edition:An evidence-based program that uses treatments including motivational enhancement, cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, medication, and 12-step facilitation. It provides a venue for clients to write down their thoughts and experiences as they progress through treatment.

The Gambling Addiction Client Workbook, Third EditionThe Gambling Addiction Client Workbook, Third Edition:An evidence-based program that uses treatments including motivational enhancement, cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, medication, and 12-step facilitation. This workbook walks clients through self-reflective activities and exercises meant to help them recognize the underlying motivations and causes of their gambling addiction and to learn the tools necessary for recovery. The Third Edition of this workbook includes coverage of all 12 steps of recovery. Chapters focused on honesty and relapse prevention as well as a personal recovery plan contribute to client success.

Treating Alcoholism: Helping Your Clients Find the Road to Recovery

Treating Alcoholism: Helping Your Clients Find the Road to Recovery:

Alcoholics are one of the most difficult client groups to treat effectively. To preserve their way of life, they may lie about their problem or deny that one exists; that is the nature of this profoundly powerful disease. Yet if you can guide each of your clients through their own resistance towards the truth, not only will you be rewarded with starting them on the road to recovery, you will no doubt have saved their life as well. Achieving such a victory goes to the heart of being an addiction counselor; it is the experience of healing on a direct and tangible level.

Treating Alcoholism provides a complete road map for assessing, diagnosing, and treating this multifaceted and tenacious illness. Detailed clinical information on the disease accompanies ready-to-use tools for practice. With a special emphasis on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the author walks you through the first five steps of this established methodology in comprehensive detail, showing how to easily apply each one to treatment.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that only God can relieve the illness of addiction. Here are a few spiritual tools to help you:

God Talks to You: Second Edition: God wants to communicate with you. God has been calling you for a long time. You have wanted God to speak to you for a long time. You have wanted to talk to God and get answers back. Here are a few quotes from spiritual leaders who have read the book: Reverend Mark Holland: “After reading Dr. Perkinson's book, I spent several minutes quieting myself, and then I asked God if there was a message for me. “Mark I’ve missed you!” Although there were no words spoken, I felt this message very clearly. I was quite surprised. Daily I was involved with spiritual matters, praying, preaching, and counseling. Nevertheless, I discovered that God was lonely for me.” Reverend Dave Waldowski: “This book and tape do not only “discuss” communication with God, moreover if you follow these simple principles you will “experience” and “hear” God’s voice on a daily basis.”

amazon_imageamazon_assoc_imagePeace Will Come CD Sit back and let the words and music sink into your soul. Come back often and play the songs over and over again. You won't be sorry. God will teach you many things you need to know.

amazon_imageamazon_assoc_imageA Communication From God: A meditation tape that will give you long communications from God. The tape takes you through two exercises where God speaks to you directly.

Addiction stops your spiritual progress.

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